Home MUSIC Put up Malone’s Headlining Set at Gov Ball: Not A lot Nation, However Tons of Hits

Put up Malone’s Headlining Set at Gov Ball: Not A lot Nation, However Tons of Hits

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It’s form of a bizarre time to be Put up Malone. On one hand, he’s coming off the 2 most-difficult, least-successful albums of his profession — the final of which, 2023’s Austin, did not even generate a single high 10 Billboard Sizzling 100 hit, marking a transparent industrial low level for the pop-rap gold-spinner who was surpassed solely by Drake when it comes to constant chart success for the second half of the 2010s. Then again, he’s already had two No. 1 hits this yr, albeit each with co-stars (Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen, respectively) whose radio and streaming clout at present simply eclipse his personal. Additional complicating issues: The latter of these two No. 1s marks the start of his long-hyped full foray into nation music, a style he has some apparent non secular kinship with, however solely tangential musical relation.

This was lots to stability for Put up Malone throughout his headlining set at day one in all New York’s Governors Ball pageant (now formally known as simply “Gov Ball”) — or a minimum of, it looks like it ought to have been. However as a substitute of making an attempt to string the needle between his profitable previous, his muddier current and his unsure future, Put up determined to simplify issues with Gov Ball setlist: He merely performed the hits. And he’s acquired quite a lot of them: greater than you could even keep in mind, greater than perhaps appears doable for a man who’s solely been making ’em since 2015 and has been in a comparatively fallow interval for ’em for the reason that decade turned. So far as streamlining methods go, it was a fairly simple one.

“My title is Austin Richard Put up,” the singer-rapper launched himself after his first two songs, “and I’m right here to play some s–tty songs and get a bit bit f–ked up whereas we do it.” Whether or not dismissing his signature hits as “s–tty” was an indication of residual bitterness over his heavier, extra private current work not being acquired as warmly as his debauched early hits or simply the artist not taking himself too significantly, it ended up probably not mattering, because it turned clear fairly rapidly Put up was not involved in relitigating something about his profession on the night. As a substitute, he performed one smash after one other — from “Higher Now” and “Wow” via “Circles” and “Congratulations” — whereas gleefully shimmying, screaming, two-stepping and stripping (his shirt, anyway) on stage, wanting each bit the famous person he was at his industrial peak.

The query of a Put up Malone gig has historically not been whether or not he’d seem to be a star, however what sort of star would cleared the path: rap star Put up, rock star Put up, pop star Put up, or now even nation star Put up? In reality, he’s been all 4 for a while — effectively, the primary three, anyway, with the fourth seemingly on its method. But when one was essentially the most ahead on Friday night time, it was most likely rock star Put up, with the primary two songs (and plenty of subsequent cuts) each being launched through the grungy riffs of guitarist Liv Slingerland, and extra six-string-heavy (and simply heavy interval) borderline inclusions like Beerbongs and Bentleys‘ “Over Now” and Hollywood’s Bleeding’s “Take What You Need” making the minimize. There was plenty of growling and shredding; one time, Put up threw up the satan horns whereas hunching his shoulders and he very briefly kinda even seemed like Ronnie James Dio. Sooner or later in the midst of the set, the combination of loud, chunking guitars with rapping — largely about being offended at women — impressed me to put in writing in my notes: Has Put up Malone been nu-metal this complete time?

But when nation star Put up is certainly on the horizon, you wouldn’t have identified it from his Gov Ball efficiency. Only a day after making a pair of shock appearances at CMA Fest — together with one alongside longtime Nashville fixture Blake Shelton, with the 2 even masking a George Jones music collectively — he didn’t convey out Shelton, or Wallen, or any visitor to additional shepherd his new nation pivot. (Other than a pair followers pulled out of the viewers to help on signature ballad “Keep,” there have been no friends of any form throughout Put up’s efficiency, not even “Rockstar” buddy 21 Savage, who’ll carry out at Gov Ball on Saturday.) No point out was made by Put up of his current sonic and geographical detour, nor did he check out any model new or unreleased materials from his rumored upcoming full size. If you happen to didn’t know going into the set that Going Nation was a factor Put up was at present within the midst of doing, you most likely didn’t come out of it understanding both.

There was nonetheless the one apparent clue, although you needed to wait until the second music of the encore for it: “I Had Some Assist,” the reigning No. 1 music within the nation, did ultimately make its look because the night’s pentultimate monitor. (As for “Fortnight,” his different No. 1 of 2024, neglect it — it’s one factor for Put up to sing over a Morgan Wallen verse, however making an attempt to approximate a whole Taylor Swift lead vocal on his personal would’ve been doubtlessly disastrous on a number of ranges.) “Assist” sounded incredible, and the gang went bananas for it, however except for its placement within the setlist Put up gave it no particular remedy, no lead-in or further emphasis or something to make you assume it was a very notable music than most in Friday’s setlist. The implication was clear: “Assist” is a success, however nonetheless simply one in all many for Posty, and nobody participant is greater than the workforce in a Put up Malone setlist.

Extra of an announcement, nonetheless, was the selection of the encore’s remaining music: “Chemical,” the most important music from Austin, whose No. 13 peak was nonetheless pretty underwhelming by his profession requirements. It was the one music carried out from the 2023 album — he performed 4 occasions as many from 2016 debut Stoney — nevertheless it landed similar to any of his larger, longer-established hits, sounding a lot fuller reside than on report, and making for a superbly resounding closing quantity for the night. The suggestion gave the impression to be that Put up had by no means actually stopped making massive singles within the first place — and that no matter whether or not on a given day he could be presenting extra as a pop star, rap star, rock star or nation star, what he really is and at all times will likely be at first is a hitmaker.


Higher Now
Zack and Codeine
I Like You (A Happier Tune)
Jonestown (Interlude)
Take What You Need
Over Now
I Fall Aside
Wrapped Round Your Finger
Too Younger
White Iverson


I Had Some Assist

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